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Academic Excellence Rewarded

Academic Excellence Rewarded

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When the outstanding achievements of young people are celebrated with pomp and pageantry, it is welcomed, and a welcome distraction from the folly of a minority of young people who make the headlines – many would say.

That is exactly what the Ministry of Education and Cable and Wireless’ National Awards Ceremony was.{{more}}

Last Friday April 18th, Ministry of Education officials, retired educators, proud students and their equally gleeful parents gathered at the Methodist Church Hall for the awards ceremony – held under the watchful eyes of His Excellency Sir Frederick Ballantyne and Sally-Ann Lady Ballantyne.

Top performers in the 2007 Common Entrance Exam, the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, and various schools which also sat the CCSLC were also recognised.

However, amidst the celebratory tone, Education Minister Girlyn Miguel, through a statement read by the Permanent Secretary, Laura Browne, had some words of exhortation for the students.

She called on students to exude integrity, and challenged them to exercise self control as they go through their lives.

“We don’t want you students to look clean on the outside, but (be) full of venom, hatred and rottenness on the inside.”

She also called for a high standard of dressing, warning that how someone dresses can affect how they are treated.

Minister Miguel’s statement also reminded students that the government has been investing a lot into the Education Revolution, and urged them to take advantage of the increased opportunities presented to them.

For his part, Chief Executive of Cable & Wireless (C&W) in St Vincent and the Grenadines Angus Steele pledged his company’s continued support of education.

He said that C&W recognizes that by supporting Education, it is by extension supporting the development of the nation.

Steele also introduced the new award – best results after remediation, which went to former Barrouallie Secondary School student, Ronnie Richardson.

Richardson got 10 CXC/CSEC passes. This, after he had failed the Common Entrance Examination twice.

In addition to his trophy, Richardson also received a $1,600 cash prize.

His school, the Barrouallie Secondary, was also awarded the prize for the best results after remediation.

Among the many stars and schools honoured, without a doubt the afternoon belonged to Colette Charles, a former student of the Girls’ High School.

“While sitting there I was thinking, remembering that I still have A levels. I have pressure, but I will just have to do the best I can,” Charles told SEARCHLIGHT when asked if she was worried about living up to the very high academic standards that she has set so far.

This confident 17-year-old Lower Six student almost took a clean sweep of the awards, being the top performer in the subject disciplines of the Humanities, Business, Modern Languages and Science, and by extension the top female performer and top overall performer at last year’s CSEC exams.

Kimeisha Bailey, also an alumna of the Girls’ High School, was the top performer in the subject discipline of the Arts, while Krisna John of the Barrouallie Secondary was the top female performer after remediation. Leon Walters of the St Vincent Grammar School took the award for the Top Male Performer.

Other notable awardees were the top ten Common Entrance performers, including Utamu Rose, Lafeisha Hadley, and Katherine Renton in first to third place, respectively.

The school with the most improved CSEC results was the Adelphi Secondary School, while the award for the school with the best CSEC results went to the Girls’ High School.

Minister of Culture Rene Baptiste, who addressed the students on the behalf of Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, told the students that they are living in exciting, yet challenging, times.

She also encouraged the pursuit of balance, saying that students can balance academics with other social interests.

“Believe me, there is time for all of it,’ she said.(KJ)

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